MARIETTA, Ga. - Public health officials in Cobb County have confirmed the first two human cases of West Nile Virus in the county this year.

According to officials, both victims, a 75-year-old male and a 55-year-old female from Cobb County were hospitalized and released.

Many people who suffer from West Nile do not exhibit any symptoms, while others may present mild or flu-like symptoms, including headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands and rash. More serious symptoms may present themselves in rare cases.

"These cases reinforce the need for all of us to be vigilant in applying preventive measures to help control mosquito breeding. Everyone can help by doing simple things to ensure their own backyard is not a breeding ground for mosquitoes," said Chris Hutcheson, Environmental, Center of Environmental Health, Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

The CDC says 80 percent of those bitten by infected mosquitoes do not present signs or symptoms of the disease, but they said people over the age of 50 are at greater risk for complications from the disease.

Prevention measures for West Nile include the following:

  1. Avoid outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  2. Dress appropriately when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active. Experts recommend wearing tightly woven light-colored clothing, long sleeves (when possible), pants and shoes and socks when outdoors.
  3. Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs and breed in areas with standing water. Clean gutters and empty accumulated water in flowerpots, old tires and recycling bins.
  4. CDC recommends use of insect repellents with DEET (N,
    N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) as an active ingredient, Picaridin, or Oil of Eucalyptus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents containing DEET NOT be used on infants less than two months old. Always follow the directions on the package for the safest and most effective use.
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